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Toronto Zen Centre

A Buddhist Community

Toronto Zen Centre

Zen Centre Closed

March 14, 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

Following the lead of health authorities in the community, the Board of Directors has decided it would be prudent to cancel all formal sittings, ceremonies and activities at the Zen Centre until further notice. In implementing this step we considered many factors.

First of all, the potential danger to seniors; the mortality rate increases from 1-3% overall to 7-15% for those over 70. If you are younger you may not be aware you have contracted the Covid-19 virus or exhibit symptoms and therefore be passing it on to those who are more vulnerable. That alone is a terrible scenario to consider. For this reason people who have small children are being advised not to ask the elderly to provide child care.

Secondly, there are so many surfaces, doors, switches, handrails that could become vectors for transmission in the Centre that it would be virtually impossible to keep them sanitized for even one regular sitting.

Third, although some of our sittings are not particularly large- we do sit in close proximity, chant four vows together and use chanting materials that are shared.

Finally, it is felt that with the ability to do term student meetings, courses and even sittings “virtually” why risk doing them in person? In this way we can do our part in helping contain this virus. That is certainly in keeping with our Vows.

With Gasho,